Double Whammy

Redundancy, end of contract or finished project have been a part of most Oil & Gas practitioners' life since 2013 when petroleum and minerals industries started to slow down, the beginning of the current world economic crisis. EPC companies have significantly reduced their manpower to only about 10-20% of their number prior to 2013. Previous to that year, engineering companies have been occupying multiple offices or multiple levels of high rise buildings, at this time it would be lucky if they have occupied a whole floor.

The news in the Middle East particularly Saudi Arabia shows that lots of Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis and other expats are currently living in poverty for more than a year now because they were made redundant or their companies closed due to the current oil price slump. They were scavenging scrap foods just to have something to eat. These are just some indications how severe the effects of this crisis. These are just the workers, how about the number of families depending on them? The Philippine government is sending the Labor Secretary to Saudi Arabia to negotiate the repatriation of tens of thousands of stranded Overseas Filipino Workers in that country.

Every time, I see a news that people are happy for another oil price reduction at the pump, I just feel that I am not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.

How about changing career path? For the young ones, that maybe as easy as 1,2,3 but for the young once that will be a double whammy for them. No matter how strict the laws against age discrimination, hiring companies always give preferences to the younger generations all things being equal. Being in the second category myself, I tried shifting my career but failed every time.

What can we do? Never lose hope, getting in touch with your contacts maybe the best option as at this time where for every opportunity, there are hundreds trying to apply for it, an insider may give you a leading edge with the other applicants. Also, not all opportunities are advertised.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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